NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with chief ministers of all states virtually over the Covid-19 situation at 4.30pm on Thursday.
“The Prime Minister will interact with the chief ministers at 4.30pm via video conferencing on Thursday,” official sources said.
India on Tuesday added 1,94,720 new infections to its tally of Covid-19 cases pushing it to 3.60 crore, which includes 4,868 cases of Omicron variant.
Here are the top developments:
Active cases in country highest in 211 days
Active cases have increased to 9,55,319, the highest in 211 days, while the death toll has climbed to 4,84,655 with 442 fresh fatalities.
The active cases comprise 2.65 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate decreased to 96.01 per cent, the ministry said.
An increase of 1,33,873 cases has been recorded in the active Covid-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.
Don’t treat Omicron as common cold: Govt
As many as 300 districts in India are reporting weekly Covid case positivity of more than 5 per cent, the Union government said on Wednesday as it urged people not to treat infection due to Omicron variant as common cold and get vaccinated.
It said Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Gujarat are emerging as states of concern due to the rise in Covid cases there.
NITI Aayog Member (Health) Dr. VK Paul said, “Omicron is not the common cold, cannot take it lightly. We need to be vigilant, get vaccinated and follow Covid-appropriate behaviour.”
“Vaccination is an important pillar in our Covid response programme,” he added.
Omicron especially dangerous for unvaccinated: WHO
The Omicron variant of Covid-19 is dangerous, and especially so for those who have not been vaccinated against the disease, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
“While Omicron causes less severe disease than Delta, it remains a dangerous virus, particularly for those who are unvaccinated,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference.
‘Covaxin booster neutralises Omicron & Delta variants’
A booster shot of indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin, administered six months after getting two doses of the vaccine, has been found to successfully neutralise both the Omicron and Delta variants of SARS-CoV-2, a study conducted at Emory University has shown.
Bharat Biotech said the study conducted using a live virus neutralisation assay showed the booster dose generated robust neutralising antibody responses against both Omicron (B.1.529) and Delta (B.1.617.2).
Amarinder Singh tests positive for Covid-19
Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus infection.
“I have tested positive for #Covid with mild symptoms. Have isolated myself and request all those who came in contact with me to get themselves tested,” he said in a tweet.
The 79-year-old leader had recently formed the Punjab Lok Congress.
Strictly follow Covid norms: Mamata to Gangasagar pilgrims
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday urged pilgrims visiting Gangasagar Mela to strictly follow Covid-19 guidelines and asked the Mela (Religious gathering) committee not to allow too many people to Sagar Island for the annual fair.
She requested pilgrims not to overcrowd vehicles in trying to reach Sagar Islands in South 24 Parganas district, to wear double masks and cooperate with the administration, and seek the police’s help if needed.
– With agency inputs